Renee Elise Goldsberry (ex-Evangeline, OLTL) just wrapped up a run as Mimi in Broadway’s RENT. The groundbreaking, Tony award-winning musical closed on Sept. 7. Goldsberry spoke to Soap Opera Weekly about 10 days before the closing, and was clearly gearing up for what would certainly be an emotional final curtain.
Soap Opera Weekly: How has performing in RENT been?
Renee Elise Goldsberry: I’ve felt this way from time to time in my life, like when I went to ONE LIFE TO LIVE and when I went to THE COLOR PURPLE: a few times in my life I felt like I was just walking along, living, and God kind of picked me up and dropped me in the middle of something that was just overwhelmingly awesome.
Weekly: How sad will the end of RENT be?
Goldsberry: It’s probably different for all of us. I can’t speak for everybody because I’ve only been there for three months; there are people there who have been part of the show for eight years. Even if you are not in the cast right now, there’s something about the fact that the show’s closing that is like saying goodbye to something that’s so significant. I can’t imagine how it must feel to be them. But what I feel is incredibly humble and honored to be able to have experienced this, even at the last moment, and to be able to take the final bow for what I think is one of the most amazing celebrations of love that’s ever been on Broadway.
Weekly: The actual production has been turned into a movie. That’s exciting. What’s that been like for everyone?
Goldsberry: There are so many things you might miss if it was just a couple of cameras in the back of the house. Radical Media is the production company; they’ve been studying the show for months and months. They will find the best ways to not miss anything. They’re going to come back on the very last night and film the show again all the way through, so you really get the feeling of being at the last performance. They’re also going to get a lot of takes of original cast members, closing cast members and all the cast members in between that are coming back for the last night. It’s going to be a real party.
Weekly: Did a lot of OLTL fans and former castmates come to see you in the show?
Goldsberry: Bree (Williamson, Tess/Jessica) came, and Melissa Gallo (Fumero, Adriana), David Fumero (Cristian), Tika Sumpter (Layla), Kamar de los Reyes (Antonio) and Sherri Saum (ex-Keri), his wife. I’ve told them all when they’re there, how much I’ve enjoyed their support — and they come to all my shows; for some reason this really touched me even deeper now that I’m not on the show — that they went out of their way to support me and that I still have such great support and such great friends there. There are so many people that love ONE LIFE TO LIVE that have come to see this show and really loved it, and I’ve been so happy about that, I can’t tell you.
Weekly: What’s next on your schedule?
Goldsberry: I’m not really sure what I’m going to do next. I’m kind of excited to see. Other than a great massage and trying to get all this glitter out of my hair that I fling around every night, the biggest thing I’m excited about is the screening of the movie.
Weekly: And you will, of course, let us know if and when you return to Llanview…
Goldsberry: I will definitely let you know right away. You never know…
Want to catch Goldsberry in [the filmed version of] RENT?
Evening showings of RENT will be on Sept. 24 and 25, and matinees are on Sept. 27 and 28. Visit www.thehotticket.net/rent for tickets and movie theater locations.